Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    basically I was under the impression that chemical engineering is designing efficient processes and applying maths to chemical processes etc... when i told a teacher i was interested in doing chemical engineering at uni they tried to convince me it was designing plants where they process chemicals and im not really interested in designing buildings etc so want to know whether this is true. thanks.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    "Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the application of physical science (e.g., chemistry and physics), and life sciences (e.g., biology, microbiology and biochemistry) with mathematics, to the process of converting raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms. In addition to producing useful materials, modern chemical engineering is also concerned with pioneering valuable new materials and techniques - such as nanotechnology, fuel cells and biomedical engineering. Chemical engineering largely involves the design, improvement and maintenance of processes involving chemical or biological transformations for large-scale manufacture. Chemical engineers ensure the processes are operated safely, sustainably and economically. Chemical engineers in this branch are usually employed under the title of process engineer. A related term with a wider definition is chemical technology. A person employed in this field is called a chemical engineer."

    Straight from Wikipedia - brilliant and reliable source.

    I think it can be both.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by affleming)
    basically I was under the impression that chemical engineering is designing efficient processes and applying maths to chemical processes etc... when i told a teacher i was interested in doing chemical engineering at uni they tried to convince me it was designing plants where they process chemicals and im not really interested in designing buildings etc so want to know whether this is true. thanks.
    "Designing plants" refers to the design of the chemical processes and equipment to produce chemicals. It doesn't really refer so much to the design of the outer structure. If you were designing an oil refinery, of course you might be involved in designing structures such as the distillation column, but for less large-scale processes, you don't need much in the way of a structure... four walls that stand up isn't exactly a great feat of engineering thesedays.

    Your teacher seems fairly knowledgeable, my teachers just say that Chemical Engineering is just Chemistry with better pay :facepalm:
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by innerhollow)
    "Designing plants" refers to the design of the chemical processes and equipment to produce chemicals. It doesn't really refer so much to the design of the outer structure. If you were designing an oil refinery, of course you'd need to design the distillation column, but for less large-scale processes, you don't need much in the way of a structure... four walls that stand up isn't exactly a great feat of engineering thesedays

    Your teacher seems fairly knowledgeable, my teachers just say that Chemical Engineering is just Chemistry with better pay :facepalm:
    What? :lol: How does that even make sense? Chemistry isn't actually a career, whereas chemical engineering is.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    What? :lol: How does that even make sense? Chemistry isn't actually a career, whereas chemical engineering is.
    Huh? There are Chemistry careers, a "Chemist" (though usually your title would be more specific like "Analytical Chemist") is a job title.

    He was referring to the degrees, he seemed to think that those two are, by some magic, two almost identical degrees, just one has better job prospects A girl at my school thought that too, until I informed her Chemical Engineering is mostly Maths... latest news is she's not applying for Chemical Engineering anymore
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by innerhollow)
    Huh? There are Chemistry careers, a "Chemist" (though usually your title would be more specific like "Analytical Chemist") is a job title.

    He was referring to the degrees, he seemed to think that those two are, by some magic, two almost identical degrees, just one has better job prospects A girl at my school thought that too, until I informed her Chemical Engineering is mostly Maths... latest news is she's not applying for Chemical Engineering anymore
    Fair enough, I did rather look over them. Most people taking chemistry, though, won't become chemists, whilst I imagine most people who take chemical engineering become chemical engineers?
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    What? :lol: How does that even make sense? Chemistry isn't actually a career, whereas chemical engineering is.
    Eh?

    So R&D isn't a career?

    Loads of Chem Engers get sucked into doing chemistry and vica versa.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    Fair enough, I did rather look over them. Most people taking chemistry, though, won't become chemists, whilst I imagine most people who take chemical engineering become chemical engineers?
    I don't really know sorry.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    Fair enough, I did rather look over them. Most people taking chemistry, though, won't become chemists, whilst I imagine most people who take chemical engineering become chemical engineers?
    Absolute rubbish :P

    About 60% of each go into their respective fields.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    Fair enough, I did rather look over them. Most people taking chemistry, though, won't become chemists, whilst I imagine most people who take chemical engineering become chemical engineers?
    wtf?

    That's a load of crap. I would throw some statistics in your face, but I just can't be bothered looking them up. In both cases, well over half stay in chem/chem eng.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Just a little tip from a first year chemical engineer . Im studying the MEng at Manchester Uni and your teacher was wrong to say that Chemical Engineering is anything at all about the design of buildings.

    You can thnk of Chemical Engineering as the bridge between a chemist producing a test tube full of a great product and that product finding itself to be produced on a huge scale. Fundementally, chemical engineers bridge the massive gap between Chemists and Civil Engineers.

    Chemical Engineering is based mostly towards the maths end of the scale so you've gotta like maths to do it and my first year modules are Chemical Engineering Design (where you will learn about flows of streams through a system to calculate mass balances and energy balances so plant economics can take place its nothing to do with buildings, believe me!), Engineering Maths (core and stats), IT (you'll learn Satans software, MATLAB), transport Phenomena (the best of the lot, heat transfer and fluid flow), Labs (you'll learn to hate weekly lab reports!) and Chemical Engineers Chemistry (this is a lot about rates, mechanisms and a surprising about of fundamental physics chucked in). You'll do other modules later on such as thermo.

    It's quite an intensive course and you'll get about the same number of hours as the medics a lot of the time but it's highly enjoyable.

    In terms of future prospects there are as you can imadgine quite a few chemical engineers but lots go into jobs in the finance sector (as chemical engineering will teach you about the flow of a material through a system which can be utalised in thinking of the flow of money through markets instead) as well as consultancy.

    Finally, a quick word on unis. I would highly reccomend two at the top end being Imperial and Manchester (and i'm not just blowing my own trumpet here). Manchester is currently bouilding a brand new multi-million pound pilot plant which is one of the reasons I decideed to come here as it shows they're investing in chemical engineers.

    By the way, this is now 07:52 and ive just finished a horrendous lab report!

    Give me a PM if you want to ask any individual questions.

    Peace

    Richard
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Euphoricia)
    Just a little tip from a first year chemical engineer . Im studying the MEng at Manchester Uni and your teacher was wrong to say that Chemical Engineering is anything at all about the design of buildings.

    You can thnk of Chemical Engineering as the bridge between a chemist producing a test tube full of a great product and that product finding itself to be produced on a huge scale. Fundementally, chemical engineers bridge the massive gap between Chemists and Civil Engineers.

    Chemical Engineering is based mostly towards the maths end of the scale so you've gotta like maths to do it and my first year modules are Chemical Engineering Design (where you will learn about flows of streams through a system to calculate mass balances and energy balances so plant economics can take place its nothing to do with buildings, believe me!), Engineering Maths (core and stats), IT (you'll learn Satans software, MATLAB), transport Phenomena (the best of the lot, heat transfer and fluid flow), Labs (you'll learn to hate weekly lab reports!) and Chemical Engineers Chemistry (this is a lot about rates, mechanisms and a surprising about of fundamental physics chucked in). You'll do other modules later on such as thermo.

    It's quite an intensive course and you'll get about the same number of hours as the medics a lot of the time but it's highly enjoyable.

    In terms of future prospects there are as you can imadgine quite a few chemical engineers but lots go into jobs in the finance sector (as chemical engineering will teach you about the flow of a material through a system which can be utalised in thinking of the flow of money through markets instead) as well as consultancy.

    Finally, a quick word on unis. I would highly reccomend two at the top end being Imperial and Manchester (and i'm not just blowing my own trumpet here). Manchester is currently bouilding a brand new multi-million pound pilot plant which is one of the reasons I decideed to come here as it shows they're investing in chemical engineers.

    By the way, this is now 07:52 and ive just finished a horrendous lab report!

    Give me a PM if you want to ask any individual questions.

    Peace

    Richard
    thanks alot, great answer. manchester was at the top of my list, which part of the campus do they do chem eng in at manchester?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Euphoricia)

    You can thnk of Chemical Engineering as the bridge between a chemist producing a test tube full of a great product and that product finding itself to be produced on a huge scale. Fundementally, chemical engineers bridge the massive gap between Chemists and Civil Engineers.
    To be fair, chemists don't just stop at the test tube. Chemical Engineers and Chemists usually work hand in hand at every stage of the process design and scale up. I work as a chemist on large scale pollution control processes for the utility industry, we don't just sit in labs waiting for engineers to make our products a reality.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by affleming)
    thanks alot, great answer. manchester was at the top of my list, which part of the campus do they do chem eng in at manchester?
    The Chemical Engineering campus is part of the North Campus of the university. This is right on the doorstep of all City location accomodation, although you shouldn't apply there. Choose Fallowfield, a much better university experience and a great place to be. It's about 30mins away from the North Campus by bus.

    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    To be fair, chemists don't just stop at the test tube. Chemical Engineers and Chemists usually work hand in hand at every stage of the process design and scale up. I work as a chemist on large scale pollution control processes for the utility industry, we don't just sit in labs waiting for engineers to make our products a reality.
    An excellent point, that was to be honest a very simplistic approach and Chemical Engineers and Chemists integrate heavilly throughout their careers.

    Give me aPM if you have any specific questions about the course or Manchester in general.

    Peace

    Richard
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Will you be richer or poorer than your parents?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.